Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beer-ness (The beer Friday Sessions) @ Offbeat Cafe's The Beer Gallery (Part 1)

I was happy being invited to a beer tasting night at Offbeat Cafe in Makati with a blogger friend of mine. Knowing how much of a beer lover I am, I was again like a kid entering a toy store upon arriving at that place.

It was great to know that there are people who are beer advocates and wanted to expand the beer culture in the Philippines. Admittedly, here in our country, people really don't care much about their beers. Whats more important to them is the alcohol. That's the reason why most Filipino drinkers settle for poor quality beers and is merely satisfied with the sole fact that they could be drunk.

The owners graciously welcomed us. Francis even joined us in our table, explaining the beers and sharing with us his beer experiences. It was a great night sharing my personal experience with beer-a-holics like me. Ive learned a lot that night and it was great to find people who share the same passion for beers.

Alright then, let us start our Beer-ness session. By the way I have divided this post into three since there are a lot of beers to be discussed. :)

You ready? Well then here it is!

For the 1st part of The Beer Gallery Beer-ness session, let us look at three imported beers from Belgium, Germany and Ireland.

1. Leffe Brune / Brown
Beligian Dark Ale
6.50% ABV
My Rating : 4

I simply love this beer. It has that dark brown color and has good head upon pouring. Lacing is seen after the head died down. The nose gives off this lovely caramel scent with rich malty tones. Carbonation is superb, just enough for its rich mouthfeel. Ill give it two thumbs up! There's another Leffe which is the blonde one but I didn't try it. Maybe on my next visit. :)

2. Astra Premium Bier
German Pilsner
4.90% ABV
My Rating: 3

Nothing special about this beer. It gives off that normal pilsner nose and taste. Malty and the cabonation is just ok. A little watery for my taste. A so-so beer for me but I enjoyed it still.

3.Guiness Foreign Extra Stout
Foreign / Export Stout
7.50% ABV
My Rating: 5

Thick and rich! Looks absolutely perfect for a stout. The nose has a rich molasses scent and its pretty much present in the taste as well. The bitterness is just enough and you can taste something like a burnt malt as you swallow. Carbonation is low which is just perfect for its creamy body. This one made me love stouts even more.

Well that's it for the first part! Click here for:
Part 2
Part 3

You guys can also read more beer reviews! Just click THIS!

You can get all these great beers at:

Offbeat Cafe, The Collective
The Collective, 7274 Malugay St., San Antonio Vill.
Makati City, Metro Manila
(0916) 611-8036

Offbeat Cafe (The Collective, Makati)

There will be moments wherein you and your friends just want to hang out in a quiet little place without the hustle and bustle of the crowded city. It was honestly a challenge for me and some of my friends to find that kind of place. After being invited over by a blogger friend of mine for a beer tasting gathering at this small nice place called the Offbeat Cafe (which serves great burgers and also known for the infamous Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger), I have realized that this is the kind of place I would see me and friends hanging out for a nice chat and some booze.

The inside of this small cafe gives a nice homey and artsy atmosphere.

One can have a nice chat over good burgers and beers.

As a striving artist (I know my friend Dennis would hate me for claiming I am an artist, hehe) I love the fact that I can see different artworks hanging on the walls of this cafe. It pleases me to hang out on places as such and simply enjoy the ambiance which is relaxed and loose.

But the best part of this is that they serve really good quality imported beers for a very reasonable price! As a beer lover, I find such delight in choosing beers that tickles my taste buds without me spending too much. I have been around in different bars in the Metro and their beer prices are simply the most reasonable that I have encountered.

But there's no such thing as perfection. Me and my friend Aebby thought something big was lacking in this place. The smoking area! It could have been perfect if there's a small corner for smoking while enjoying some good beers and bar chows. Apparently, people who want to smoke should step out of the door and smoke outside the cafe which I find ironic since you can light up a smoke right in front of the cafe's doorstep. So near yet so far. Haha. Well as a smoker its a total turn off because it feels like youre being restrained to do what pleases you the most (smoking) while doing something else that pleases you as well (drinking) Hehe.

We were stuffed when we went there so we never really had a chance to sample their signature dishes even if we badly want to. Well, but we decided to just come back solely for the purpose of sampling their famous burgers. Looking forward to it. :D

But I really wanted to share my beer experience there which made my thoughts about this place as a great hangout place.

For the Beer Review click on these links to read!
The Beer Gallery Part 1
The Beer Gallery Part 2
The Beer Gallery Part 3

Offbeat Cafe, The Collective
The Collective, 7274 Malugay St., San Antonio Vill.
Makati City, Metro Manila
(0916) 611-8036

Food Trippin: La Grotta Cucina Italiana (Makati)

I do love Italian cuisine. It would rank as second or third in my top cuisine list. I have perhaps became familiar with almost all of the dishes and being in La Grotta made me feel so much at home.

We were starving like hell and so we quickly scan the menu and ordered right away, and here's what we ordered.

Lasagne Emiliana (Php 360) - baked lasagna with meat and bechamel sauce.

It was a great dish. The ragout is very flavorful and the bechamel sauce is not overpowering. I was about to be impressed with the dish until I chewed on a dry, I can even say burnt layer of pasta at the bottom. I asked the server to have it replaced since I think that the texture of the pasta isnt supposed to be like that. Well, plus the fact that my friend told me that he had experience the same thing, that is having a burnt lasagne bottom, I decidedly insisted to have it replaced. The server checked my plate and returned it to me after half a minute telling me that it is not burnt. I actually didnt think that the staff handled my concern very well and so I got really disappointed. It was a turn off for me. :(

Spaghetti Maremana Rosso (Php 360) - Spaghetti with fresh seafood and basil and tomato. A so-so pasta dish.

Calabrese Picanti (Php 405) - Pizza with tomato, cheese, onion, basil and Italian sausage. Kinda "ok" but I was not really impressed.

My friend ordered Risotto Finanziera (Php 350) – Italian rice with chicken, mushroom and mascarpone cheese. (forgot to take a photo) :( But I think that one is a good risotto dish. It was too heavy for me though.

Overall, the food is mediocre for me. I got really turned off by the fact that they didnt address my concern well. I was expecting they would say sorry because I was not satisfied with the dish that they served me, regardless whether the food is really burnt or not. In my opinion, they should have atleast offered to have it replaced since I am not satisfied, instead, the lady took a firm stand that it is not what I think it is.

For the ambiance, I think its a perfect place to have some intimate time with friends or be on a date. But for the service and the food? Mediocre. Not really impressive.

La Grotta Cucina Italinana
Angelus Medical Building, V.A. Rufino., Legaspi Village,
Makati City, Metro Manila,
Tel: +632-894-1320

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beer-ness (The beer Friday Sessions) - 5

I know that I havent been writing much for my Beer-ness post but fret not, im back again and I will be writing a couple of more posts by the end of this day. Also that doesnt mean im not consuming some of my favorite bubbly treats.

I've been back to Treffpunkt with some friends and Ive tried another German beer that they offer.

Todays Beer-ness Friday beer is Eku from Germany.

Eku Pils
Type: Classic German Pilsner
Alcohol content: 5% abv
AHA! thought: whoa man! this is heaven in a can.
My Rating: 5

Got this beer for only 69 Php. Dang!

Refreshing, crisp, light. Carbonation is perfect. Very faint hint of lemon flavor. My kind of beer. Ahhh what more can I say? Hahaha, I really get dumbfounded whenever I drink a good beer.

Prost! Till my next beer post. :D

For more beers (yes I know you love more beers) Hehe, just click THIS!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mahal kong Maynila

Tulad ng isang binibining likas na kabigha bighani.
Ang iyong ganda ay hindi mapagkakaila.
Tulad ng sikat ng araw na sigla ang taglay.
At tulad ng paglubog nito na sa dapit hapon ay nagbibigay ng ginhawa.
Ikaw ang aking Ina, and aking kaibigan, ang aking minamahal.
Lumayo man at masilayan ang ibang ganda ng ibang bansa, ibang lungsod, ibang bayan.
Ikaw pa din ang aking giliw, Ikaw pa din ang aking sinta.
O mahal kong Maynila, lungsod na aking sinilangan.
Ikaw lamang at wala nang iba.

Food Trippin : Adobo Connection (Food Junction, Eastwood Citywalk)

Adobo can perhaps be the national "ulam" of the Philippines. An authentic Filipino dish, every family has its own way of cooking their Adobo. I personally perfected the art of cooking Adobo, the one which my family adores to eat.

Stumbling upon Adobo Connection found in Food Junction in Eastwood Citywalk, I felt delight knowing that something like this establishment gave so much importance to our Adobo that it made the entire menu dedicated to our favorite local dish.

I remember some food establishment like this a few years back but I never really liked their Adobo. I was kinda hesitant in trying out this one but the array of different Adobo varieties made me curious.

I was confused on which to have for dinner since there are a lot of choices, plus the fact that everything in their menu is very affordable. In the end I opted to get Fish and Tofu Adobo and Chicken Adobo Flakes.

Fish and Tofu Adobo (Php99) - Fried fish and Tofu in Adobo sauce.

Chicken Adobo Flakes (Php99) - crispy Chicken Adobo Flakes served with sunny side up egg and rice.

I totally enjoyed both dishes. The Fish and Tofu Adobo brings a different twist to the usual Pork and Chicken Adobo that we all are used to. The flavor of the Adobo sauce sunk into the fried Tofu and fried Fish and it gave that salty, sour kick to the tame flavors of both tofu and fish. The Chicken Adobo Flakes on the other hand is also a winner. The serving is hefty and the texture is certainly something that I have enjoyed. The Adobo flavor is still very much present in the crispy shreds of chicken. All these goes with a cup of rice and a drink of your choice only for Php99. Its a steal! :) Oh and they serve cold beers too!

So next time youre craving for our beloved Adobo and wants a little spin on it, try Adobo Connection.

Adobo Connection
Food Junction Eastwood Mall
E. Rodriguez, Jr. Avenue (C5),
Brgy. Bagumbayan, Quezon City , Libis

Monday, November 21, 2011

My All Time Favorite Filipino Cookbooks

I have passed by the bookstore earlier to check out the cookbook that I was intending to send my bestfriend Carlo in Sydney. The man loves to cook and so I thought of sending him a good cookbook that I saw a few weeks ago. To my dismay, I wasnt able to remember the title of that Filipino cookbook which totally amazed me since it discusses the origins of each Filipino recipe per region in the Philippines.

I was feeling very disappointed since the staff cannot help me as well and so I opted to look for some other good cookbooks that I can send him. To my surprise, I saw copies of a cookbook that I remember using when I was still a little girl! Its owned by my grandma and that's what I've been reading when I was little that made me intensely interested in cooking. I was feeling ecstatic because of that and as soon as I got home, I rummaged through my moms Filipino cookbook to see if we still have the copy. Luckily she still does with other Filipino cookbooks that we have.

So, I have made a list, sharing with you 4 of my favorite Filipino Cookbooks. (including the oldest cookbook we have which we inherited from grandma, hehe.)

1. Masasarap na Lutuing Pilipino ni Aling Charing

2. Aling Charing's Filipino and Foreign Recipes by Rosario Fabian

3. Mama Sita's Cookbook

4. Everyday Cookbook

Forgive me for the cookbooks are really old and messy, of course we have been using it in the kitchen so obviously the sauces and oils made them look like that. Hehehe.

I have made my first dishes using the first cookbook and made a lot more using the others. I remember when I used to have a lot of time, I would definitely stay in the kitchen for almost the whole day making dishes from these recipe books.

Man, I miss cooking...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

One Perfect Breakfast (Universal Bakery's Mamon and Ensaymada)

Starting the day by having a great breakfast meal will make or break your day. Sharing one of my best breakfast ever.

Perhaps, Universal bakery in San Pedro Laguna is a local pride. They have one of the best mamon and ensaymada I have ever tasted.

One Perfect Breakfast!!!

Fluffy Mamon and Buttery Ensaymada

Paired with steaming hot Cafe Latte


Food Trippin : Another great time at Pan de Amerikana (Katipunan)

Me and my sister's family were looking for a place to have lunch before heading to Greenhills for an early Christmas shopping. We were welcomed by a heavy traffic in Gilmore and just decided to eat lunch first at Pan de Amerikana in Katipunan. My niece was ecstatic! She was actually feeling jealous coz I went there for the first time with my sister and not with her. (My niece is a future foodie, I swear)

It is me and my sister's second time and of course we planned to try the dishes that we haven't tried on our first visit.

Unlike the first time we visited, the place wasn't that packed when we arrived. We definitely enjoyed the place since its quiet and the kids enjoyed playing chess while we wait for our orders to arrive.

My sister and her beautiful family

The kids having a great time playing chess while we wait for our orders to arrive.

We were starving and since this is me and my sisters second time, we were quite sure on what to order.

Tuna Pan de Sal and Sardines Pan de Sal (Php 25 each)

Binagoongang Baboy (free when you order The Family platter)

Family Platter (Php 595) - assortment of various grilled specialties such as grilled tilapia, grilled squid, inihaw na liempo, inihaw na manok, pork barbecue, inihaw na tahong, inihaw na hipon plus steamed okra, kangkong and inihaw na talong. Served only during weekends. :)

Sisig (Php 145)

The Family Platter is only available during weekends. We were surprised on how big the serving is to think that the price is actually very reasonable. Me, my sister and my brother in law definitely enjoyed the variety of grilled dishes plus the grilled vegetables served with it. It all reminded us three of those fun times in the beach back at mom's province. I also enjoyed the sisig with its generous servings.

Pan de Amerikana certainly make the whole family a priority. They make sure that the menu is designed for families to enjoy. The servings are hefty and the prices are cheap. I would be back here again (especially if im on a tight budget) hehe.

And they also have the Senior Citizen discount. See? Very family friendly right?

Pan de Amerikana
118 Katipunan Avenue, White Plains, Quezon City
Phone number : 421-1966

Want to see their entire menu? Click this.
Pan de Amerikana Menu

Want to read my 1st visit in Pan de Amerikana? Click this.
Food Trippin : Pan de Amerikana (Katipunan) 1